Russia Beats USA 8-5 in World Cup Water Polo

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia, August 22. THE USA men's water polo team dropped its third consecutive game at the 2002 FINA World Cup, this time at the hands of Russia, 8-5. The loss sends the U.S. into a last-ditch effort to qualify automatically for next year's FINA World Championships in tomorrow's seventh place game against Croatia.

Goals by Revaz Tchomakidze and Alexandr Erushov began the Russian assault early with first quarter goals to take a 2-0 lead.

Iouri Yatsev gave the Russians a 3-0 advantage early in the second quarter and Tchomakidze's second goal gave Russia a 4-0 lead with just over two minutes to play in the half. Irek Zinnourov's goal with 0.3 seconds left on the clock gave the Russians a 5-0 lead at halftime.

The U.S. didn't get on the board until 4:59 of the third quarter, when a blind backhand by Jeff Powers from six-meters beat the shot clock. A direct shot by Tony Azevedo after a foul at seven-meters found the net to make the score 5-2, but Russia got one back on a goal by Zinnourov with 1:43 to play in the third.

Azevedo and Jesse Smith managed goals in the fourth quarter, but more shots found the post than the net as the U.S. lost, 8-5. Team USA was outshot again, this time by a count of 24-16.

Team USA found itself in the middle of a very physical contest, as is the custom against Russia, and were unable to respond.

"It was a strange game," said U.S. head coach Ratko Rudic. "They played aggressive and we didn't have the answer. We are not physically ready for this type of game."

Team USA will play Croatia tomorrow in a 7:00 p.m. game (local Belgrade time). Croatia and the U.S. split their FINA World League series with two wins apiece.

Tomorrow's Schedule – August 23, 2002 *
Game Time Team vs. Team
7th Place Game 7:00 p.m. USA (4th Place – A) vs. Croatia (4th Place – B)
Quarterfinal 8:15 p.m. Hungary (3rd Place – A) vs. Greece (2nd Place – B)
Quarterfinal 9:30 p.m. Russia (2nd Place – A) vs. Spain (3rd Place – B)
* Yugoslavia (Winner Group A) and Italy (Winner Group B) have the day off.

Group A Standings
Team Wins Losses Draws Goals For-Goals Against Points
1. Yugoslavia 2 1 0 26-19 4
2. Russia 2 1 0 21-21 4
3. Hungary 2 1 0 24-19 4
4. USA 0 3 0 14-26 0

Group B Standings
Team Wins Losses Draws Goals For-Goals Against Points
1. Italy 2 0 1 19-16 5
2. Greece 0 0 3 18-18 3
3. Spain 1 1 1 17-16 3
4. Croatia 0 2 1 16-20 1
-continued from pg. 1-

Box Score

United States 0 0 2 3 — 5
Russia 2 3 1 2 — 8

Individual Scoring
USA: Azevedo 2, Wigo 1, Powers 1, Smith 1
Russia: Tchomakidze 2, Zinnourov 2, Erushov 2, Garbouzov 1, Jatsev 1

Man Advantage Scoring
USA: 2 for 5
Russia: 3 for 7

Other Scores:
Group A
Croatia 7, Greece 7
Italy 7, Spain 5

Group B
Hungary 9, Yugoslavia 7

Cadets in Belgrade
The USA men's cadet national team is also taking in the action in Belgrade this week, but it's not all on a spectator basis. The Cadet team bested Greece in an early morning scrimmage but was pounded by Yugoslavia 19-5 in an afternoon scrimmage. JW Krumpholz suffered an injury to his eye, and will sit out most of the tournament.

"The referees call nothing," commented Matt Sagehorn.
"We were surprised by the size of the Yugoslavian team…it's like playing college guys."

The cadets will be participating in the YU Open International Tournament in Belgrade, Yugoslavia from August 27-31.

The National Cadet Team
Chay Tatman
Miguel Cidoncha
John Connolly
Kevin Lorber
Mark Stemler
Matt Aksel
Anthony Artukovich
Steven Weinberg
James Krumpholz
Drac Wigo
Will Hindle-Katel
Janson Wigo
Eric Vreeland
Joe Sherrin
Matt Sagehorn
Nico Sardo
Charles Wright
Christian Flores

Head Coach: Doug Peabody
Assistant Coach: Bill Smith
Assistant Coach: Boyd LaChance
Team Leader: Greg Ormsby
Referee: Steve Redding
Team Doctor: Neal Weinberg

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Author: Archive Team


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